Zits crop up at the worst of times. Most blemishes can be prevented simply by following an effective four-step skincare routine.
Zits are always unwelcome visitors but tend to arrive in the most unwanted of situations. Have a pivotal presentation to deliver? Up pop five zits the night before. Dating a new partner? You guessed it: skin begins to act like the teenager you still are inside.
Everyone experiences zits at some point in their life. While there's many treatments to turn to, only a few work.
When you find your skin in need of acne treatment and prevention, these are the steps to incorporate in your skincare routine:
- Once-daily cleansing
- An anti-inflammatory spot treatment
- A moisturiser with sebum-regulating, skin-repairing actives
These four steps tackle the causation triad of zits:
- Increased sebum production
- Trapped dead skin and decreased natural rate of exfoliation (hyperkeratinisation)
- Presence of spot-causing bacteria
Sound a little technical? Don't worry; we're about to explain exactly how each step treats and prevents zits.
1. Daily cleansing is your best weapon against zits.
Skin with zits usually produces more sebum, or oil. Men are especially prone to zits, as male skin produces more sebum than female skin does. Sebum is a sticky substance and clings to the impurities, pollution, and particulate dust skin encounters daily.
Rinsing your face with water before bed isn't effective at removing the impurities captured by sebum. Water certainly can't remove sunscreen thoroughly. You should cleanse skin once per day with a gentle cleanser such as:
2. Exfoliation treats and prevents zits.
Trapped dead skin is one of the three factors in the zit-causation triad. Skin naturally renews itself completely every 30 days. When zits rear, trapped dead skin cells are likely to blame. Dead skin clogs pores and provides sustenance for zit-causing bacteria.
Mitigate this cause of zits by exfoliating regularly. Exfoliation speeds up the rate of skin cell turnover, preventing clogged pores from becoming reality.
Try a physical exfoliant such as Jurlique Daily Exfoliating Cream, which uses smooth granules of oats and almonds to gently lift dead skin. Alternatively, try a chemical exfoliant, which can treat deeper layers of skin. We recommend Clinique for Men Exfoliating Tonic for skin frequently visited by zits.
3. Blast zits with an anti-inflammatory spot treatment.
Spots are an inflammatory reaction caused by a build-up of substances that your skin reacts to. Inflammation is your body’s path to defence and repair. In the exact same way that the impact of a squash ball will cause a raised lump, a mixture of sebum, skin cells, and bacteria will too—albeit on a smaller scale.
Treat existing spots with creams containing anti-inflammatory ingredients to reduce spot size and relieve angry redness. We recommend:
- Medik8 betaGel Acne Treatment Gel, based on anti-inflammatory vitamin B3 (niacinamide)
- Alpha-H Clear Skin Blemish Control Gel, formulated with a trio of anti-inflammatories: liquorice, vitamin B3, and zinc
4. Moisturisers with sebum-regulating, skin-repairing actives improve spot-prone skin.
Moisturisers formulated to treat and prevent zits should offer two benefits. Firstly, such products should help reduce the sebum that helps cause spots (prevention). Secondly, acne treatment moisturisers should contain ingredients that speed skin's ability to repair itself (treatment). Vitamin B3 is great at both tasks.
Find a healthy dose of vitamin B3 in these moisturisers:
If you're loyal to a specific brand, visit our men's skincare category for equally effective spot treatments and remedies.